TransCanada halts pipeline terminal over endangered whales

December 2, 2014
Oil company TransCanada has suspended construction of a terminal on a major pipeline along the St. Lawrence River after Canadian authorities classified a nearby population of beluga whales as "endangered"

Oil company TransCanada suspended construction of a terminal on a major pipeline along the St. Lawrence River after Canadian authorities classified a nearby population of beluga whales as "endangered."

The arctic white whale, with its distinctive spherical forehead and smiling mouth, is present in and around Cacouna, Quebec where the terminal is planned.

The belugas in the area were labeled "threatened" in the last formal study done ten years ago.

The population was estimated to number less than 1,000 whales, compared to more than 10,000 in 2004, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada said in a report.

That puts the whales at "considerably greater risk of extinction" than before, the report said, citing pollution, noise disturbance and industrial development as reasons for the northern ' decline.

The committee is composed of scientists whose conclusions are submitted to Canada's environment ministry.

As a result of the endangered label, TransCanada halted the terminal construction in Cacouna, the company said in a statement.

The Cacouna terminal was intended to be operational by 2018 as part of the $10.5 billion Energy East pipeline that's planned to connect Canada's east and west coasts.

The decision to delay the construction was made to give the company time to analyze the beluga recommendation and review options for the future, TransCanada spokesman Tim Duboyce said.

Explore further: TransCanada seeks approvals for pipeline to Atlantic

Related Stories

TransCanada seeks approvals for pipeline to Atlantic

October 30, 2014

TransCanada on Thursday filed for regulatory approval of a proposed Can$12 billion (US$10.7 billion) pipeline to carry western Canadian oil to Atlantic coast refineries and terminals, for shipping overseas.

Humpback protections downgrade clears way for pipeline

April 22, 2014

Environmentalist activists on Tuesday decried Canada's downgrading of humpback whale protections, suggesting the decision was fast-tracked to clear a major hurdle to constructing a pipeline to the Pacific Ocean.

US to hold Keystone pipeline hearing in Nebraska

March 27, 2013

The US State Department said Wednesday it will hold a public meeting in Nebraska in April on a controversial $5.3 billion Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, just days before a key consultation period ends.

Recommended for you

Male baboons found to engage in feticide

January 18, 2017

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several institutions in the U.S., some with ties to the Institute of Primate Research, National Museums of Kenya, has found that male baboons in the wild at times engage in feticide. ...

What humans and primates both know when it comes to numbers

January 18, 2017

For the past several years, Jessica Cantlon has been working to understand how humans develop the concept of numbers, from simple counting to complex mathematical reasoning. Early in her career at the University of Rochester, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.